plan on persecutions
"Expect to be persecuted." —2 Timothy 3:12
Timothy saw Paul suffer persecutions (2 Tm 3:11). Paul proclaimed: "You know what persecutions I have had to bear" (2 Tm 3:11). He also warned: "Anyone wishing to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" (2 Tm 3:12, our transl). Plan on being persecuted.
"You, for your part, must remain faithful to what you have learned and believed" (2 Tm 3:14). We will be likely to accept God's grace to be faithful if we remain rooted in God's word. We will probably be rooted in God's word if we have learned the word in Christian community. In community, we know who our teachers are (2 Tm 3:14) and we learn the Scriptures from our infancy (2 Tm 3:15) and in our daily lives (see Dt 6:7-9). Many people are hearers of the Bible but not doers of it (Jas 1:22). Those who receive the "reproof, correction, and training" (2 Tm 3:16) from God's word in Christian community, however, will probably do God's word and remain faithful even in severe persecutions.
The mass apostasy is approaching (2 Thes 2:3) where the love of most will grow cold (Mt 24:12). Plan for persecutions. Live in Christian community. Focus on faithfulness. Do God's word.
Prayer: Father, make me good, fruitful ground and not rocky ground in which the seed of God's word cannot be rooted (Mt 13:5).
Promise: "The majority of the crowd heard this with delight." —Mk 12:37
Praise: Boniface zealously destroyed a pagan shrine and successfully focused the attention of the people of Germany on the Lord (see 2 Kgs 18:4ff).
Reference: (For more teaching, order our books, Introduction to Small Christian Communities, and 12 Seminars on Building Small Christian Communities.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 29, 1997
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 2, 1997